One Heavy Experience

Pickin' On Led Zeppelin Volume II (CMH Records)
Various Artists

By Larry Alexander

"Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" has always been one of my favorite experiences of all time-even back in my hard rock years. I can't believe it sounded even better on this CD. It was always haunting and I never knew why - turns out I was actually a closet bluegrass fan. Led Zeppelin apparently was one of the first crossover bluegrass groups when nobody even knew what the heck crossover meant. Certainly, the influence was strongly bluegrass.

On this CD, many of the great Led Zeppelin compositions make their way over to bluegrass. Exquisitely talented musicians blow the tops off with renditions of some of their classics such as "Gallows Pole," "Misty Mountain Hop" and my all time favorite, the aforementioned "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp."

And how could an accordion work in "Your Time Is Gonna Come?" Well, it does and gives it an Italian coastal feel. Sorta makes you want some pasta and a good red wine. Cut number three, "Whole Lotta Love," is an incredible musical trip--percussion, harmonica, pickin'-actually my pick for best-of-CD honors. The percussion in "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is just flat thumpin' great. "Led Zeppelin" is an original composition that closes the album. The cut highlights the individual talents of the group-just like sitting at a live concert.

This album is an experience, much like Pink Floyd's The Wall is an experience. It's more than just an album. Crank up your system, turn on the powered sub-woofer and just lie back.

I don't have Pickin' On Volume I, but I can guarantee you that I will have it before week's end. This is truly good stuff. If you love Led Zeppelin and you love experimenting with music, get this baby. Buy it online or buy it retail, because I guarantee you will not see many of these in the used CD racks.